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Username: Jim_nelson

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, May 09, 2006 - 6:05 pm:   

(I saw the movie about a week before it started it's limited release in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas and Atlanta.)

Review of The Zodiac

I am not going to comment on any of the actors’ performances. I will leave that to those who are award oriented. This will only be about subject content.

The opening disclaimer states: “The following film is based on true events. For the protection of those involved, the names of people and places have been changed.”

For the zealous Zodiologist this movie covers no territory that has not been hashed, rehashed and re-rehashed over the last 38 years. There are no new insights to the case. It does not solve the case – nor was that ever a claim. It does convey some of the theories that have arisen over the past generation.

This is not a documentary. Instead it approaches the subject from the perspective of the fictional lead detective on the case and how it affects him and his family. It covers the time span from the December 20, 1968 attack to the October 13, 1969 letter. There is an end reference to the 1978 letter. However, for not being a documentary I found it to be far more accurate about the details of the attacks and letters than some purported “documentaries” have been about their respective topics. This, no doubt, is the result of Tom Voigt, Webmaster of, being a technical advisor for the movie. There were a couple of misstatements but I attribute them to poetic license.

To accurately set the time in history, references are made to many of the events of that tumultuous Summer of ’69: The moon landing, the Sharon Tate murders, the Vięt-Nam war, the hippie movement, Martin Luther King, Civil Rights, protests, those Amazin’ Mets, Richard Nixon. The catch phrase has been, “If you remember the sixties you weren’t really there.” Well, I was there and this is how I remember the sixties.

Just remember, this movie was made for entertainment – not purely accuracy. For me it is a reasonably enjoyable thriller but, then, I am very jaded. It would be much more enjoyable for the uninitiated. Personally, I thought the movie was fine. Hopefully it will inspire some viewer to delve into further research. Or trigger a memory that may lead to finally solving this case.

Jim Nelson,

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